Please come discourage me...

  1. Hi everybody.

    I just got my BA two months ago. Knowing that it is hard for a non US citizen to find a job in my field, I am planning to pick something else to do. Recently I am thinking of being an RN. I am lucky enough to have everybody's support about this idea, my parents, my friends, and my bf. Everybody's been saying how good it is to be a nurse, how rewarding this profession is. I love to help people, especially people who need help.

    I am a very realistic person. Everything must be 50% good and 50% bad. People in this field must know the best what's bad about nursing. I know nurses deal with dirty stuff, bloody stuff, have to do night shift, and this job can be very stressful. But what else? Will I need to talk alot? Cuz I don't like talking if it's not necessary.

    I consider this as a very important decision to make for me. Any advice is appreciated.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   allantiques4me
    Congratulations on your BA!Ya dont always have to deal with the dirty stuff.I really dont.Its all about what area you go into.I dont know if being congenial is a requirement,but it helps to be friendly,makes the day go faster,and you get to meet all kinds of interesting people.Why dont you like taking alot??Are you shy?Or you say your a non citizen?Language issue?If thats the case,you already have an edge.Many places give bonuses for being bilingual.Go for it.I know you will have no regrets. Allantiques
  4. by   albedo
    Quote from allantiques4me
    Congratulations on your BA!Ya dont always have to deal with the dirty stuff.I really dont.Its all about what area you go into.I dont know if being congenial is a requirement,but it helps to be friendly,makes the day go faster,and you get to meet all kinds of interesting people.Why dont you like taking alot??Are you shy?Or you say your a non citizen?Language issue?If thats the case,you already have an edge.Many places give bonuses for being bilingual.Go for it.I know you will have no regrets. Allantiques
    Thank you

    Well I got the impression that nurses have to deal with dirty stuff from one of the posts on this board (about cleaning poop). But I am trying to get ready for that anyway, by trying to enjoy cleaning my cat's litter box.

    I am think I am too shy to talk in front of people I am not familiar with. And I like listening to people talking cuz I think it's pretty interesting to learn what kind of different life everybody's living. I just don't like adding comments. And it seems like I really have the ability to shut people up. Maybe I am just too nerdy to talk to. Language can be another problem. I feel stupid to make language mistakes.

    Thanks for your encouragement.
  5. by   arizonanurse
    Here's the bad side:

    You hold the ultimate responsiblity for your patients. Which means you are the one that gets blamed if lab is late drawing the blood, or dietary gives your NPO (nothing by mouth) patient a dinner tray, or the previous nurse didn't call the doctor for whatever he thought he should have been called for. Doesn't matter if it was your fault, doesn't matter if you were even there; if it's your patient, you will get yelled at. And, if you are lucky enough to be charge nurse, you get to be responsible for every patient on the floor.

    You will work yourself to death trying to take care of a dangerously large patient load, only to have patients complain that you ignored them.

    You will rarely get a chance for a full 30 minute lunch. (I think it's happened maybe three times in the past six months.) Some days you won't even have time to go to the bathroom, but that doesn't matter because you won't have time to drink any water either.

    When things go bad, they go bad fast, and they go bad all at once. And you are the one responsible for fixing it.

    Honestly, the dirty side isn't as bad as it sounds. You get used to it. Blood starts to seem clean because at least it doesn't smell.

    And yeah, you will need to talk a lot. All day long. But it WILL be necessary - you'll be explaining treatment plans to patients and updating doctors on their patients and what orders you need.

    But in my opinion, the good side far outweighs the bad. It's more like 80% good and 20% bad, if you ask me. But you asked for the bad, so I gave it to you If you want the good side, there are plenty of threads on that - but it sounds like you already have a pretty good idea of it.
  6. by   albedo
    Quote from arizonanurse
    You hold the ultimate responsiblity for your patients. Which means you are the one that gets blamed if lab is late drawing the blood, or dietary gives your NPO (nothing by mouth) patient a dinner tray, or the previous nurse didn't call the doctor for whatever he thought he should have been called for. Doesn't matter if it was your fault, doesn't matter if you were even there; if it's your patient, you will get yelled at. And, if you are lucky enough to be charge nurse, you get to be responsible for every patient on the floor.
    It sounds like there's no way to avoid that...
    So will a nurse get fired or be punished for other nurse's fault?

    Quote from arizonanurse
    And yeah, you will need to talk a lot. All day long. But it WILL be necessary - you'll be explaining treatment plans to patients and updating doctors on their patients and what orders you need.
    This I will be fine I think, as long as I know what I am talking about. I am just not good at daily life conversation.

    Thank you so much for your opinion. I have only dealt with one nurse in my whole life (school nurse) once. So what you stated does help me to get an idea what this occupation is like.
  7. by   ckben
    don't forget that in many places, you will never know when you will be getting off of work. if the end of your shift is 7:15, you may have a high chance of still being on the floor waiting for the oncoming nurses to get there or to finish getting report from other nurses. and it may be likely (maybe even certain) that you will have charting to finish which may take you up to 2-2 1/2 hours to complete, depending on how much happened during your day. so you may have to learn never to plan anything for the evenings of days you work since you don't know if you'll still be working or not.

    speaking of paperwork, i hope you like it, because you will be doing lots and lots of it. many care plans, which have NEVER been useful to me. i don't need some generic form to tell me what needs to be done for my patient, i need to assess them. it's also fun to fill out documentation on safety rounds, stating you were in the room every two hours when, in fact, anybody who looks at your charting will see that you filled in all of these particular slots for 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 1800 hours at 8:30 in the evening. you'll forget to chart important things, but you'll remember to chart "pt. lying in bed, watching tv" quite often.

    you'll get calls on your spectralink phone every 5 minutes because another patient has called requesting something from you, or phyical therapy wants you to premed the patient NOW for their exercises, or the husband helped his wife to the bathroom and someone needs to help her take her shower but the CNA is busy so you'll have to do it yourself right away because she's already sitting on the shower chair naked. oh, and rest assured that every time you are cleaning up poop or are sterile for a dressing change, your phone WILL ring, and you won't be able to answer it. expect that, and expect to get griped at later by whoever was calling because you didn't answer.

    if you're diabetic, don't count on being able to always eat when you need to. a small (think bite-sized) snack may suffice, but only if you remember to take it before you start feeling your sugar drop. often, 2-3 hours can go by in what feels like a few minutes, and you're wondering where all your time went.

    also, be prepared for the chance of developing kidney stones. i've known several nurses who have this problem. you can't carry water around with you. according to OSHA and most hospital policies, you can't have any liquids at the nurses stations or where you chart - only in the break rooms. think it must be easy to get 2-3 minutes during the day to run in and chug something quickly? sometimes, but sometimes not. and microwaved meals? only if you're lucky. more likely you'll be eating that for dinner after your shift is over, and only consuming ready-to-eat food during the day (sandwiches, crackers, etc.). i've had many a 12-hours shift with only one bathroom break, and i often can't help but wonder at the color and stench of my own urine which is so abnormal from the norm.

    have a good memory? if not, get ready to have long, extensive To Do lists. oh, and try to train your mind before you graduate to displace yourself from your stress. the key to getting through your day? force yourself not to care that you have one patient with a dangerously low blood pressure complaining of chest pain, another with difficulty breathing who needs to be suctioned, and two asking for pain meds ASAP (not to mention that patient who hasn't called you and thus hasn't been seen by you for 3 hours). if forced relaxation doesn't work, be prepared for bursts of anger and possibly a shower of tears because you can't keep up with everything and nobody else can help you because they're all in the same boat.

    not know everything about nursing? well don't worry. you won't know everything at first. in fact, for the first couple of years you'll feel like you know nothing. gradually, you'll get to where you feel comfortable in your area. then, you'll change specialties and start all over knowing nothing again.

    also, get ready to clean up the messes the shift before you left behind. i've worked days and nights, and i can say that both shifts are guilty of this. rest assured that many, many days you come on shift, you will spend 30 minutes to an hour just trying to finish up the most pressing matters before you even begin to start your morning routine.

    you must be a counselor to be a nurse. patients want to know what you know about their conditions, and they want to know what you think the next steps in their recovery process will be. families will want to know what you're doing for their loved one and will bring up problems that you will have to fix ASAP just to keep the peace, even if you know them to be minor problems. patients will gripe about everything from the weather, to the condition of the room, to the nurse they had on the previous shift, to how many times the phlebotomist stuck them, to the food, etc. etc. and you will have to listen and be sympathetic even if you personally do not agree with them.

    probably the worst thing about being a nurse is the non-compliant patients. i know everyone has a right to live the way they want, but i personally feel my time is wasted when my patient with end-stage renal disease stops by sonic for a limeade on their way into the hospital because they can't breathe due to fluid overload. or my hypertensive patient is refusing their blood pressure meds because "it feels too low" when their blood pressure gets less than 190 systolic. or my double-amputee diabetic patient has their family sneak them snickers bars. if it's simply a lack of education, that's fine. i can and will take the time to educate them as best i know how. but so often patients KNOW what they need to do, and just don't do it because it's inconvenient for them.

    no, i stand corrected. the worse is having a patient with open wounds i wouldn't wish on my worst enemy whose family won't let them take any pain medicine stronger than tylenol when they're around because "everything else makes her crazy." and try convincing a physician the pain medicine they ordered isn't strong enough or isn't working. they may have specific ideas on what they want to do for their patients, but they aren't the ones being yelled and cussed at by patients and family members alike because they've maxed out on their pain medication and you can't legally give them any more.

    sufficiently discouraged? believe me, there is plenty good to nursing, and i think everyone should give it a shot if they truly believe this is where their hearts lie. but everyone should also be aware that there are many, many problems with nursing in this country, and we have a long way to go to fix them.
  8. by   zenman
    Quote from albedo
    Thank you

    Well I got the impression that nurses have to deal with dirty stuff from one of the posts on this board (about cleaning poop). But I am trying to get ready for that anyway, by trying to enjoy cleaning my cat's litter box.

    I am think I am too shy to talk in front of people I am not familiar with. And I like listening to people talking cuz I think it's pretty interesting to learn what kind of different life everybody's living. I just don't like adding comments. And it seems like I really have the ability to shut people up. Maybe I am just too nerdy to talk to. Language can be another problem. I feel stupid to make language mistakes.

    Thanks for your encouragement.
    Ever think about being a psychologist? You don't have to talk much...the best ones just listen.
  9. by   albedo
    Quote from ckben
    also, be prepared for the chance of developing kidney stones. i've known several nurses who have this problem. you can't carry water around with you. according to OSHA and most hospital policies, you can't have any liquids at the nurses stations or where you chart - only in the break rooms. think it must be easy to get 2-3 minutes during the day to run in and chug something quickly? sometimes, but sometimes not. and microwaved meals? only if you're lucky. more likely you'll be eating that for dinner after your shift is over, and only consuming ready-to-eat food during the day (sandwiches, crackers, etc.). i've had many a 12-hours shift with only one bathroom break, and i often can't help but wonder at the color and stench of my own urine which is so abnormal from the norm.
    That sounds very inhumane. How ironic. People in the medical field are pretty unhealthy.

    Quote from ckben
    sufficiently discouraged?
    More than sufficient... this is very discouraging
    I will put them on my list. Thanks a lot for sharing!!

    Quote from zenman
    Ever think about being a psychologist? You don't have to talk much...the best ones just listen.
    No. Took some psy classes before. I don't agree with their ideas. I especially don't like "sickman fraud." I would rather talk alot.

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